The very first thing I do when organising any next trip I’m going on is go online — actually no, I perhaps go online before I’m even sure about where it is I’m going. But yeah, every single aspect of organising a trip these days pretty much plays out completely online or with the use of some or other piece of tech. This is why it’s so hard to even try and imagine how people managed to travel before we had the internet proper and tech such as mobile phones.
It’s just one of those things which would have bothered me for the rest of my life if I didn’t at least try to find out, but I learned quite a lot in doing so. I got some valuable insights which ultimately just make the process of booking a trip and actually going on that trip that much easier and much, much cheaper.
Although they’re still very much in existence today, travel agencies perhaps saw their heyday back when pretty much every aspect of organising a trip had to be done through one of these. Nowadays the typical travel agency is perhaps affiliated with airlines, other modes of transport, hotels (and other places of accommodation, like hostels, backpackers’, etc), concierge services, etc and their referral of travelling clients to these tourism industry service providers is how they make most of the money. That’s perhaps the manner in which travel agencies have managed to stay relevant these days in that their affiliation with various travel sector service providers effectively extends some big discounts to those travellers who make use of travel agencies.
Back in the day however, you’d perhaps not be able to fully enjoy any trip you took without spending a bucket load of cash had you not gone through a travel agency.
Tourist Information Centres
Thankfully you’ll still find a lot of these in existence today, whether you’re roaming around London or indeed if you’re a wide-eyed tourist in Sao Paul, Brazil, tourist information centres perhaps work hand-in-hand with travel agencies to provide a little more practical information for tourists and locals alike. They certainly did so extensively before tech took over. Perhaps the good old practice of asking around got tourists to where they needed to be, along with physical maps which you’d roll up and tuck away when not in use.
Well, between the tourist information centres, travel agencies and those travel guide books you’d have to buy for quite a hefty fee, the most determined of travellers never let any of the obstacles they had to deal with deter them from exploring the world, but nowadays pretty much every aspect of travelling can be catered to by using your smart phone. This applies locally as well, with the likes of Stagecoach busses now having their service enhanced with the introduction of the bus operator’s mobile phone app, which basically takes all the hassle out of using the bus service by allowing commuters to check timetables, book tickets, etc.
With reviews as well thrown into the mix, we definitely have more than just one up on the brave, pioneering travellers of a couple or so decades ago.